Monday, October 20, 2008

One Garter or Two?

OK, all you eagle-eyed costume historians and dedicated followers of fashion, what is the courtier on the right wearing around his leg? It's a garter, yes, but is it The Garter? It has an unusually long pendant which makes me think it's more like a kind of decorative garter, especially as the right, white-hosed leg of the same man seems to have a similar garter. (From what I have seen so far, medieval Garters don't seem to have a matching, plainer band on the other leg, though this was the convention later on.)

Note how his elegant footwear extends across the frame of the picture...


This is from a MS of Philippe de Mézières’ Epistre au roi Richart, British Library Royal MS 20 B Vl, f.2, detail (c. 1395-6). I haven't seen this manuscript discussed in any Garter contexts, which is interesting because if it's not thought to be The Garter, then it's evidence that decorative garters were fashionable in Richard's court. But perhaps it is a Garter: no reason why it couldn't have a long pendant, after all.

I've finished drafting Chapter Six (hooray for me!), and am just starting the long haul through all my badly organised files to fill in all the gaps before I start drafting Chapter Seven then re-doing all those early chapters. So I will have fun problems about deciding where to put all my juicy little snippets. For example, the Queen's driving mascot is a silver model of St George (the Garter's patron saint) slaying the Dragon, and it is transferred from car to car. What a weird world it is.

3 comments:

Zoe said...

One of the most fun problems I had doing my history degree was working out how to squeeze into an essay that President Nixon signed off a childhood letter to his mother "your good dog, Richard".

Stephanie Trigg said...

Heh. So, spill the beans: how did you?

Zoe said...

God, I can't remember! But the quote itself is burned into my brain.